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An autobiography of a man's battle with alcoholism. A hold-nothing-back account, unashamedly exposing his demons, then conquering them.

Blotto is a rags-to-riches story. Yes, the author found stable work through overcoming his alcoholism. More profoundly, though, he became rich in spirit – and this shines through in Jeff Pohn’s frank account of his addiction.


The book starts at his lowest point: a pathetic man so broken he can’t get out of his paralysing situation. From early childhood, it then details his trajectory into his insidious disease. It can be hard for someone without this experience to imagine how alcoholism can compromise a person’s life, but Pohn makes it relatable.


Written in first person present tense and with an easy reading style, this story is impassively told. The author doesn’t shy away from his heinous behaviour while drinking. He then details the set-backs in his difficult recovery as clearly as his advances: Alcoholics Anonymous assisted his “slow-briety” greatly.


In some respects, this is a standard memoir of a child growing up, then moving into the wider world with adulthood. Pohn details family relationships, most of which start off complicated, and all of which end up estranged. His daily routines are commonplace, familiar to many.


It’s this familiarity which allows the reader to delve more deeply into the author’s dire circumstances – because it’s even more understandable that alcoholism could have been anyone’s outcome, but for a chance of circumstance here or there. Anyone who has suffered knock-backs, whether big or small, will see their reflection somewhere in this tale.


The book contains some spelling and punctuation errors which detract from the reading experience. At times the style is so laid back as to lack emotion behind the words. More diverse vocabulary would increase reader interest. The scene which orientated the book reappears halfway: repeated word for word, the impact of this pivotal event is reduced. Revisiting this incident with different phrasing would have been beneficial, adding to the gravity of this turning point in the author’s life by exploring it in more depth.


The book’s appealing cover is simple yet effective: to read the subtitle, the reader must turn the book almost upside down, unconsciously mirroring the life described within. The story ends with the author’s sobriety and stable life – and mind – that accompanies it. The reader is left with the feeling that Pohn has beaten his demons, and continues to win with every day he decides not to drink. 

Reviewed by

Proud to be the author of TWO published books! New release October 2021, in print and ebook form. My books feature my poetry and art, and depict my journey through depression and into wellness. I'd love to know what you think of my work: feel free to ask me questions or write a review.


About the author

After a thirty year career as a film and TV director/screenwriter, Jeffrey Pohn enters the world of non-fiction writing with his new memoir, ‘BLOTTO: Adventures in Alcoholism / Ruin to Recovery’. Jeffrey lives in Ojai, California, with his wife, Poosy, and their dog, Baby. view profile

Published on October 07, 2019

Published by

40000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by